Have we mentioned how much we are enjoying these WeddingPhotoLove photographer interviews? Because they are SO MUCH fun. We were able to get some time for an interview from Dee with Shutterdee (such a cute business name, don’t you think?). Thank you so much for answering all of our questions, Dee.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself and your company.
Oh the dreaded question…I don’t like to talk about myself, but if you insist! :D I’m a lover. I’m truly interested in people…and what makes their world go round. I’m shy yet outgoing. I love food, culture, and chocolate is my weakness. I’m indecisive because there’s so much I want to experience. My company, well, it changes from time to time, BUT what doesn’t change is what I love to capture and how I shoot…it’s the raw, organic, photojournalistic, natural light, sort of way. I love to see people laugh and to see what makes a couple and family tick. The moments that go unnoticed…well that’s what tells the story. The NOW.
2. . How did you get into wedding photography?
I was encouraging a very artistic friend of mine years ago to pursue something artsy. Photography came up. As I went over all the wonderful possibilities, it stirred things up and a light went off (I was that teenager whose walls were covered from top to bottom of photo prints). “Wait…I want to do this!” So I started looking into what I needed to do, made some phone calls, and a wedding photographer took me under his wing. He literally threw me in there. (kind of like our grandparents, grandparents, taught their children how to swim…know what I’m talking about?!! I was scared but learned A LOT. Fast forward a couple of years and here I am!
3. What is your favorite part of the wedding day to capture?
My FAVORITE is the first look. (that’s if a couple chooses to do so) The first look is where the bride and groom opt to see each other before the wedding. I love this so much because it’s the most private and intimate moment of the day. I get to capture the moment he lays eyes on her and when he holds her and tells her how beautiful she looks. You just don’t get all that at the altar. It’s wonderful for me too, because it relieves so much stress and nervousness for the bride and groom. I get to connect with them, while taking the time to capture, to me, the most important part of the day, the two of them. By time the ceremony starts, we are so comfortable and everything just falls into place.
4. What is the most awkward moment you’ve experienced while on the job?
I’m totally embarrassed to admit this, BUT I’m gonna keep it real. While I was shooting a wedding once, my camera stopped working. MID PHOTOS. Right in front of the groom and his family. The shutter button was stuck. The LCD screen went black and would not let me view my photos. The groom nervously looked at me like..is everything ok? After a few moments of “changing the camera settings” while I talked about…who knows what..I figured out that I literally had to keep turning on and off the camera after about 5 snaps to get it to work. I had to try my best to guess exposure settings. I was then shooting with my Canon 20D, and I had just worn that thing out. Back up camera? What’s that? Oh, and my assistant was a friend helping me out with a very amateur camera; and she was off taking guest photos. Talk about praying for the ground to open up and swallow me up.
5. What’s the best thing you ever ate at a wedding?
My brides take good care of me. I’ll start with deesert. I was shooting at a country club and they literally had the BEST tiramisu I have ever tasted in the world. My assistant and I almost fell out of our chairs. I don’t even LIKE tiramisu. It’s true. Meal…probably this vegetarian orzo pasta with feta, I was served. It’s hard, I’m a vegetarian that eats fish on occasion and my brides make sure I have vegetarian options…so most of the time it’s marvelous. Did I say my brides take care of me…some even have place cards for my assistant and I! A-mazing. I’m happy with bread (I eat lots of bread) and a fabulous Caesar salad.
6. What is your favorite venue and why?
Honestly I’m a sucker for backyard weddings. Or garden weddings. Because they’re usually so intimate, and, so detailed oriented. I love the natural light too. Makes for best of pics.
7. Nikon or Canon?
Nikon who? Canon all the way!
8. What is your dream location to shoot a wedding?
I have too many but definitely someplace in Europe. Probably Venice or Capri. Wait no Morocco! Actually…I would be so happy to shoot in Greece. I also really want to shoot a wedding in the snow. Did I mention I’m indecisive?
9. If you could shoot any celebrity wedding (past, present or future), who would be the lucky couple?
This is a fabulous question (my husband and friends are shaking their head at me right now)! There are many. I want to make a list starting with, my gals like: Kate Hudson, Jennifer Aniston, Zoe Saldana, and Drew Barrymore. But I’ll spare you and will narrow it down to two. I really would have loved to shoot Reese Witherspoon’s recent wedding. Sigh. She’s just so classy. But over all I think Russell Brand and Katy Perry’s Wedding in India would have been an amazing experience.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned, and would pass along to other new wedding photographers just getting started?
1. Be realistic. Things aren’t going to be perfect, “regrets and mistakes, they’re memories made,” Adele says. Lol. It’s true. Learn from the mistakes you’ve done. Don’t let that make you feel like you’re not good at what you love to do. Just keep ‘swimming’. 2. Always..ALWAYS, check your camera while you’re shooting. Sometimes your lighting changes so fast..your settings need to also. Glance at your screen every few shots just to make sure you’re doing great. 3. Stop doubting yourself and don’t give up. I’m still kind of, from time to time, doing that, but getting further away from feeling inadequate. It’ll only ruin your ‘vision’ and you won’t be your best on a shoot. 4. Put yourself out there, the worse people can say is no. 5. I’m a big rooter for others, be a peer and a support to your fellow photographers…competing is harsh. 6. Try not to let your work swallow you neck deep…you’ll lose your joy.